The sciatic nerve branches out from the lower back and runs down both buttocks and legs. Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed and causes pain, tingling, or numbness anywhere along its path, most often just on one side, but sometimes on both sides.
Usually, one of the following conditions is responsible for a pinched sciatic nerve:
Occasionally, irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve, such as nerve damage related to diabetes, can cause sciatica.
Should I see a doctor about sciatica?
Many cases of sciatica resolve themselves within a few weeks. On the other hand, accidents and severe cases that cause immobility or loss of bladder and bowel control require immediate care and may best be addressed with surgery.
If you fall somewhere in between, you may be wondering whether or not to see a doctor about your pain. Typically, you should plan to see your doctor if any of the following apply:
Your pain doesn’t get better after a week of rest and self-care measures
Symptoms are severe or worsen over time
Sciatica interferes with your ability to walk or perform upright activities
You feel like your legs “give out” at times from weakness or numbness
If you don’t see a doctor for your sciatica, your condition could get worse or cause permanent nerve damage. It’s important to schedule an evaluation to discover the cause of your sciatica and determine if treatment is recommended.
What treatments are available for sciatica?
Treatment differs depending on the cause and severity of your sciatic pain, so a full diagnostic evaluation is recommended. The treatment for a severe bone spur, for example, is quite different than treatment for a mild herniation.
The providers at Washington Center for Pain Management provide a vast selection of treatments for sciatica. Even if your body doesn’t respond to one, it may significantly improve after another.
Some of the most popular treatments for sciatica include:
Epidural steroid injections
Nerve block injections
The pain specialists strive to use the least invasive options that prove effective for you. They also offer a variety of microsurgeries and open surgery options when other methods don’t help.
If you’re ready to alleviate your sciatica pain, reach out to the practice by phone, or request an appointment online to begin the process today.